Madeleine McCann: James Nesbitt Is Missing The Plot And 100 Hairs
Just as the Daily Express gets its weather news from looking at a crystal ball, the ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ conjures front-page news of Madeleine McCann from the ether.
The headline tells readers:
Madeleine McCann: 100 strands of untested human hair provide new hope in DNA hunt
Gerard Couzens reports:
Nearly 100 strands of hair tested during the original Madeleine McCann investigation were never DNA-matched, it emerged today. Portuguese forensic experts analysed 444 hair strands they believed could hold the key to the youngster’s May 3 2007 disappearance.
They found 432 were human and 12 non-human. They were unable to DNA-match 98 of them and only obtained partial results from 19 of them, Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported.
The Mccann That is interesting. Where were the hairs found?
A Met Police team led by DCI Andy Redwood announced their wish to look again at forensic material collected in the early days of the Madeleine McCann investigation during a visit to the university town of Coimbra earlier this month.
They met with the bosses of Portugal’s Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Coimbra, two hours drive north of Lisbon, where most of the material, also said to include 25 blood and saliva samples, is held.
So Portuguese police wer enot all that bungling, then? Material was collected. And c an you amtch DNA to someone whose DNA you don’t have?
Institute president Francisco Brizida, said afterwards: “I have the certainty they went away very happy.”
“The tonic of the meeting was about the possibility of the tests on samples collected in 2007 being re-done. The British police wanted clarification on the examinations the institute had carried out during the early stages of the inquiry in the areas of genetics and biology. We talked about non-identified material that was collected in Madeleine’s apartment. I can’t say for sure new DNA tests that didn’t yield a conclusive result in 2007 could now yield an objective result. But technology nowadays allows us to go further than years ago in areas like genetic markers. Several possibilities are open. One could be that British police do the tests in Britain with British technology and another that the institute does them. But that’s an area in which the institute does not have the last word. There’s a situation of judicial cooperation and a new international letter of request would be necessary.”
So. No new facts. But it’s entertaining.
The Herald: “TV review: The Missing borrows too much from the McCann case”
The McCann case has one fact: child goes missing. What could a TV drama share with that case? Or is Julie McDowall talking of the media narrative that was spaun from that single thread?
Mum, dad and child are on holiday in France and everything is sweet and lovely. It’s actually a bit saccharine, as they laugh and frolic in a sunny meadow, then gather to make daisy chains. These twee family scenes felt very forced. I could easily imagine the director waving his hands behind the camera, instructing the actors to pile on more schmaltz, more middle-class familial bliss.
Clearly, no subtlety was allowed. This was to be the tale of a perfect child snatched from a perfect family. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a missing child drama on a grotty council estate? That would certainly call for a deft touch with room for a frosty subtext of whether or not the requisite junkie/single mother/scrounger was a good parent, and perhaps they brought it on themselves? But that might just be too subtle for prime-time BBC1, so we stick with the middle class parents.
Point made. But how else is that like the story of Madeleine McCann?
The story does borrow heavily from the Madeleine McCann case: a child snatched in a foreign holiday resort; the mother clutching at a favourite cuddly toy; British police parachuted in; accusations the case was mishandled; the locals grow resentful of the media attention and a book is published about it all.
Does this story go on for years? Will there be eight series and counting? There are eight episodes.
Some may fret over the morality of using the McCann case for simple entertainment but as long as the resultant programme is brilliant then I’m fine with it but, so far, The Missing isn’t brilliant. It’s good, peppered with some excellent moments, and tugs nicely at the heartstrings, but that doesn’t justify plundering the McCann case for some good story tips.
The McCann case was always plundered. It has been rich source of media speculation and libel for years.
Gerard O’Donovan also reviews:
There were inevitable echoes of the tragic real-life Madeleine McCann case, but the script steered clear of direct references largely by ignoring the enormous role played by the media (though there were hints that this theme, too, will be explored). With seven hour-long episodes still to come The Missing certainly has the potential to become ever more complex and dramatic. It might even be the best drama of the autumn, provided this high standard can be sustained.
Fact and fiction… Can you spot teh difference?
“It was very intense filming it,” admits James [Nesbitt], 49, who’s a dad in real life to daughters Peggy, 17, and Mary, 12. “That thing of briefly losing sight of a child happened to me when the kids were younger and you can’t see them in the supermarket, or wherever. It’s a terrible, terrible moment… the most unimaginable horror.”
There but for the grace of God, and all that.
Viewers will undoubtedly be reminded of the Madeleine McCann case, yet James denies this was intentional. “That’s bound to be in the subconscious,” he agrees, “but this is more a thriller. There are twists and it became a bit of a whodunit.”
So, er, nothing like the McCann case, then. Which brings us to the Daily Star:
Maddie McCann suspect stole passport and faked Navy career… A PAEDOPHILE who will be quizzed over Madeleine McCann’s disappearance claimed he was a retired Navy officer.
Such are the facts…